Over the last few years the gel nail trend has rocketed, and proved to be a massive beauty craze among a lot of women.
A 2013 article from the Daily Mail estimated that women spend around £450 a year to maintain their manicures, and they think that the likes of Rihanna, Rita Ora and TOWIE stars are to blame.
Gel nails claim to provide long-lasting results and a flawless finish in a range of colours.
Gel nail treatments are available at most nail salons, and range from £15 to £35, depending on whether you choose nail extensions or not. The treatment usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes, again, depending on what you opt for.
The good thing about gel nails is they last for approximately three weeks, depending on how careful you are with your hands, which no doubt helps with their popularity. How many of us can be bothered to keep repainting our nails every three to four days when there is an option to have the colour stay in place for several weeks? We know which one sounds better to us.
Another appealing thing about gel nails is that they provide a tidy shiny effect to the nail that looks completely smooth and is free of any unevenness or chipping. The UV light used during the treatment hardens the gel nail varnish to give a hard layer of colour that is near enough invincible for around three weeks.
We spoke to Shapers Nail Salon in Sunderland to ask them about their thoughts on gel nails. They said: “Gel nails have been really popular over the last few years. Our sales have definitely increased. They are our most popular nail treatment and women love them because they don’t chip and they can also strengthen your nails underneath and give them a chance to grow.”
However, despite all the advantages of the gel nail procedure, what is rarely discussed is the aftermath of the treatment and what condition it can potentially leave your nails in.
Gel nails aren’t exactly easy to remove. It is possible to remove them at home, but it’s not as straight-forward as using your staple nail varnish remover. To remove gel nails you need pure acetone (which can be very tricky to find, and often needs to be ordered from Amazon or eBay), cotton wool balls and kitchen foil. You can remove the polish by bathing the cotton wool balls in the acetone, then applying the cotton to each finger and wrapping them up in the kitchen foil for 10 minutes.
Alternatively you can return to the salon where the treatment was given and have them removed professionally for around £5. Nail salons commonly use the method discussed above or a nail-buffing technique to remove the gel.
After the gel has been removed, the nails below can feel weak and brittle among some women, and I personally have experienced nail breakage after the removal.
If you are able to consistently pay for gel nail treatments, and afford to maintain the look, perhaps your nails will get stronger over time from the procedure, but for a one-off it can result in very soft and damaged nails.
Beauty Resource explains on their website the pro’s such as; gel is odourless unlike some acrylic or liquid powder nail systems, el is also more flexible and considered to be safer and a more environmentally friendly alternative to acrylics. they also highlight some important cons to; gel nails are less durable than acrylics and therefore do not last as long and most gel nail variations must be cured using a UV light meaning that they are difficult to fix at home.
Beauty Resource offers a wide variety of nail treatment and are able to answer any question you have about how to care for nails and select the best treatment for you.
Check them out here: http://www.beautyresource.org.uk/articles/nails.html